Bite of Minnesota: The Olive Grove

Article by the Crystal Grobe, WCCO CBS. Updated: 5/25/2010.

Tucked away in a cute shopping center in Mendota Heights is The Olive Grove, owned by Chicago transplant, Natalie Jaeger.

The Olive Grove opened in October of last year, providing us food lovers with a reason to stock up on vinegars and olive oils.

The beautiful colors and stonework are the perfect contrast to the stainless steel casks throughout the shop and set the tone for an enjoyable tasting experience. With almost 20 olive oils, 6 specialty oils and 11 balsamic vinegars ready for sampling, you are bound to take something home.

Natalie receives the olive oils fresh from places like Tunisa, Italy, Spain, Australia, among others. The oils are kept in stainless steel casks to preserve freshness and antioxidant qualities. Not only do the casks help to preserve antioxidants, but they also help keep away enemies like air, light and heat which deteriorate the product.

The Olive Grove is continually receiving new products. Recently, summer flavors took center stage. Imagine drizzling a little cilantro and onion olive oil over grilled fajitas or serving scoops of vanilla ice cream with sweet peach balsamic over top. (Trust me, fruity balsamic over ice cream is amazing!) Homemade salad dressings are a cinch to make and there are so many possibilities! Try lemon olive oil and strawberry balsamic or walnut oil and red apple balsamic. Check out the amazing recipes here.

If you cannot decide, try one of their sampler packs which includes a variety of 4 ounce bottles which are perfect for gift giving too.

My favorite? Drizzling a little black truffle oil over popcorn. Full flavored, buttery oils like this and the Organic Phoenician are hits with those of us watching our fat intake.

Stop by The Olive Grove to spice up your kitchen (or someone else’s) and discover a world of new flavors.

Picture property by WCCO